Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 31 to 60 of 67

Thread: Intelligent Life In The Galaxy Define Intelligent

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    8,804
    I would hestitate to say that the Mayans had no effect on their environment; they built quite extensive irrigation networks, but these will have suffered from the same problems as all simple irrigation networks;

    the dissolved salts in the water supplied build up in the soil irrigated by this system, and then need to be removed; to remove this kind of build up requires more water still, and you start to get diminishing returns.

    There is some evidence that Mayan society was damaged by drought; I think it entirely possible that the Mayans themselves were responsible for over-use of water, and caused this drought themselves.

    I believe it is better to have continued environmental research and development than expecting low tech societies to solve environmental problems with limited data.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    3,095
    OK, I was wrong with that example. But, my point was that we can become a society which has less effect on the environment than we do now, but still retain our technology.

    I think that stands true even now.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,971
    If my memory serves me correctly, the drake equation defines an "intelligent civilisation" as one that is able to produce radio transmissions through space. Hence, according to this definition we have been an intelligent civilisation for around 100 years now.

    Personally I think this is a silly measure of intelligence. I agree with the general sentiment here that technological advancement and intelligence are two separate things.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2
    LET ME THROW THIS DOWN!YOU CANNOT STOP LIFE.LIFE IS EVERYWHERE.THERE ARE OLDER PLANETS THAN OURS EVERYWHERE.THINK OF THE MOST ADVANCED LIFE ON ANY GIFTED PLANET,THEN THINK OF THESE PLANETS AS BEING 1,000,000 YEARS OLDER THAN US,OR 10,000,000 YEARS OLDER.BELIEVE THAT THE MOST ADVANCED LIVING BREATHERS ARE 1,000 YEARS MORE ADVANCED THAN US.HOW ABOUT 10,000 YEARS! THERE IS LOTS OF LIFE OUT THERE,SO MUCH THAT THERE IS A BREATHER OUT THERE RIGHT NOW THAT LOOKS JUST LIKE ME.

  5. #35
    StarLab Guest
    OK, cool your blasting jets, Dave! Sheesh! One rule on this forum is no caps, because it's metaphoric to yelling, so you can make a point without the caps (and with better punctuation and diction, too :P )!

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    2,405
    Personally I think this is a silly measure of intelligence. I agree with the general sentiment here that technological advancement and intelligence are two separate things.
    They are not totally separate. Intelligence is a prerequisite to technology development. Once manifested the curiosity factor of intelligence drives technology development forming a feedback loop that more closely couples the two and accelerates the enhancement of each. Those 4 million year old stone tools came from technology development.

    Even on a Europan world where the stimuli which engender their concept of the universe are much limited compared to ours, intelligence and technology development may cause them to break free from that encapsulated environment.

    OK, cool your blasting jets, Dave! Sheesh! One rule on this forum is no caps, because it's metaphoric to yelling,
    Although I seldom use all caps, I can see some value in using them to depict various strengths of emphasis. Where/when did the myth of equating total caps to shouting originate? I neither use nor receive them in that manner. In the case of faded printing total caps seem easier to read...but then my eyes are getting quite old.

  7. #37
    StarLab Guest
    It's OK to use caps in phrases to emphasize various points, true, but not the entire post.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2
    Dear Forum Police,
    Liberty of expression is a hallmark of intellegence.It's probably no accident that freedom of speech mentioned in the First Amendment...make no law...abridging the freedom of speech.Calls for censorship threaten to erode free speech.
    I thank you for your persuasion to my offensive,controversial and obnoxious rant in CAPS.

  9. #39
    I say intelligent life is life with the ability to learn something and share that knowledge with others. Then, the only thing you need is time to build up a civilisation, which will automaticly lead to the ability to produce radio waves or any other thing that is needed to call a lifeform intelligent.

  10. #40
    StarLab Guest
    And what kind of 'knowledge' would that be, Wouty?

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,011
    :unsure: NO! or do I mean no. No niether,... Well anyway, no. Technoledgy is not a good tool for measuring intelagance. An advanced life form may not require technoledgy. I beleave that long term evolution may bring a spiecies to a point where they no longer want for technoledgy. On this planet our race for technoledgy has usually been asociated with our want to blow the pajesus out of somebody. Our evolution is short. We are the servivors of several major impact avents. If the dinosours still walked the earth, would we. Its a good question to wunder what would have evolved out of the 'Raptor'. I'm sounding a warning here. Maybe we should stop trying to atract the attention of alians. we might be lunch.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    2,405
    If the dinosours still walked the earth, would we (1). Its a good question to wunder what would have evolved out of the 'Raptor' (2). I'm sounding a warning here. Maybe we should stop trying to atract the attention of alians. we might be lunch (3).
    (1) Yes earlier and smarter.

    (2) The raptor is believed to have been an efficient killer that needed no technology more than that with which nature outfitted it. It's fatal shortcoming along with that of the myriads of efficient killers evolution has sprinkled around the earth over time is that it could not imagine how many ways the universe could do it in and take the mediating action to ensure its survival.

    (3) Sometimes our imagination generates a level of paranoia that can be crippling leading to an overloading of our technology with weapons of war. The contest between the Europeans that first explored the Americas and the aboriginal population should be viewed as a classic case of contact between cultures of widely different technologies. Remembering this event should motivate us to develop our technology to its most optimal levels assuming we can figure out what that is.

    Those aliens that would like us for lunch either figuratively or physically will find us whether we try to attract them or not.

    My guess is that the smaller versions of raptors, since our ancestors at that time were mouse sized or smaller, accelerated our evolution by thinning the herd of both over and under contemplative "monks". Mosasaurs and their cousins would have taken care of the marine "monks". If any of these ferocious killers returned to the modern scene, they would be the thinees not the thinners. It is somewhat ironic that our most likely deadly enemies are microscopic, a class of predator about which neither the raptor nor the mosasaur likely were aware.

    Our continued existence is tightly coupled to technology development.

  13. #43
    Originally posted by "StarLab"
    And what kind of 'knowledge' would that be, Wouty?
    Knowledge on how to use objects to do things that would take a lot longer without those objects and the knowledge on how to make those objects. With 'objects' I refer to rocks as in the stone age. These could be used for a lot of things, like making fire, making cutting easier and so on. I think that once one object is utilized in an unnatural way, the rest will follow.

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,011
    :blink: Never mind the detail.. read the mesage.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Mahamyatala, Garia,Kolkata-84; West Bengal; India
    Posts
    104
    What is an intellegence?
    Exact defination of Intelligence is abscent in all text books & reference books of Neuromedicine, Neurology and Neropathology. However according to me it is the neuro physiological state of the human brain, particularly of the cerebral cortex[ mostly in frontal ,temporal,cortex] ,which includes culmination of cognitive abilities that includes auditory perception, 3D object recognition, speech perception, languages, skilled/ unskilled behaviour, goal directed planning, problem solving, attention, reasoning, and memory function of the human brain. The intellegence can be tested by IQ test which includes verbal IQ and performance scale IQ[ Revised Wecheser adult and child intellegence scale II] IQ score represent the age adjusted scaling of an individual intellectual performance. There are many other tests for intelligence performance like Raven's test, Revised and wide range achievement test etc. All these tests depend upon ability of communication of a person with the test performer. So by term Intellegence I can say that an intellegent man is able to communicate effectively and resonably in a language that he/she understands and able to speak with a test performer. The neurophysiology of intellegence is a big chapter, involves many neuronal tracts comminications, many nuerochemicals[ GABA, Acetelcholine,endorphinetc], manyreceptors, many synapses, several areas of brain and nucluiie, genes, development of brain perfectly in the utero and in childhood, social and economical environment
    DR. Pranab Kr Bhattacharya
    Mr Rupak Bhattacharya & Mr Ritwik Bhattacharya
    www.unipathos.com

  16. #46
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    14,315
    Ummm... Did my intelligent reply to this thread just get deleted? I don't see it here...

  17. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    32
    I'm unsure exactly what Intelligence is, however the encephalization level ( brain mass / body mass ) has increased at a constant increasing rate with time ( ignoring the mass extinction events ).
    Also the encephalization level also seems to directly relate to the number of “technologies” a species uses. It's difficult to know if the rules of biological evolution are the same everywhere but if we assume they are then any planet capable of allowing evolution will eventually end in technological based life. I suppose the problem is what planets can allow that level of evolution.

  18. #48
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    222
    any being that has instincts of survival and self-awareness (too some degree). Although the levels of intelligence included there are not much to speak of. Complex intelligent life would at least have the ability to construct simple tools.

    "for example intelligence could be definded by the ability to leave your planet and travel into deep space"

    microbes traveling on asteroids are also able to do this

  19. #49
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,810
    Quote Originally Posted by tony1967 View Post
    I'm unsure exactly what Intelligence is, however the encephalization level ( brain mass / body mass ) has increased at a constant increasing rate with time ( ignoring the mass extinction events ).
    This is a remarkable claim. Do you have citations to support this?

  20. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    13,440
    Quote Originally Posted by tony1967 View Post
    I'm unsure exactly what Intelligence is, however the encephalization level ( brain mass / body mass ) has increased at a constant increasing rate with time ( ignoring the mass extinction events ).
    Also the encephalization level also seems to directly relate to the number of “technologies” a species uses. It's difficult to know if the rules of biological evolution are the same everywhere but if we assume they are then any planet capable of allowing evolution will eventually end in technological based life. I suppose the problem is what planets can allow that level of evolution.
    Welcome (again?) to BAUT, tony1967!

    This is a very old thread, started in 2004 and resurrected in 2006.

    There's a more recent thread, with perhaps a more pertinent discussion, here in the Life in Space section: Intelligent life in space - an evolutionist's perspective. You may find that interesting.

    "Encephalization level" as I understand it refers solely to animals, and within that kingdom, mostly to the Chordata phylum (which is mostly vertebrates); I haven't heard of this term being used for the largest animal phylum, the Arthropoda (i.e. insects, spiders, crabs, etc) - have you?

    In any case, there's no evidence to suggest that life on an Earth-like planet would evolve in such a way that eukaryotes arose, much less chordates (except for the sole example of the Earth itself).

    BTW, what's the encephalization level of the many thousand ant, termite, and bee species? How many "technologies" do they use?

    Also, I'm not sure what you're thinking of wrt "the rules of biological evolution", but these are pretty broad, and simple, aren't they?

  21. #51
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    32
    Quote Originally Posted by baric View Post
    This is a remarkable claim. Do you have citations to support this?
    My knowledge comes from lay proof reading of evolutionary psychology papers, I can't upload any but a quick goggle you will find quite a few papers, I found this graph, which is similar to textbook examples

  22. #52
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    32
    Hi Nereid, thanks for the welcome as far as I can tell encephalization level refers to most advance animals *, there's certainly a few of papers on Octopus family ( just goggle ). Obviously animals which have not evolved a brain don't have this index.

    Again this was all background reading to human evolutionary psychology, but I did think it important to show that there is academic evidence for increased animal encephalization, and that it might suggest that "intelligence" offers a evolutionary advantage (the rule I was talking about was the natural selection one). If this rule is true for here then I think there is either 100% chance it is right for everywhere or we are such a freak it is close to 0%. However I think if planetary conditions are right life will try to increase in complexity, multicellular, sense organs, larger and larger CPU...

    * animals with brains, there are as far as I understand some exceptions , recent work on insects as individuals ( they have a "different" type of brain) and group animals, show far higher intelligence than they should. To paraphrase something I read "a larger brain may just mean a larger harddrive not a larger CPU". So insect mushroom bodies may act as a better cpu than some larger "animal" brains.

  23. #53
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    13,440
    Quote Originally Posted by tony1967 View Post
    My knowledge comes from lay proof reading of evolutionary psychology papers, I can't upload any but a quick goggle you will find quite a few papers, I found this graph, which is similar to textbook examples
    Do you have a reference for this? Also, which of the Google hits would you suggest are good to read?

    I'm interested in which phyla (etc) the species the various data points represent are in. If the data points are monophyletic, then convergent evolution may not be a factor, and, in the 'replay the tape' scenario, the trend is not necessarily indicative of anything other than the evolution of one line.

    In a way, possibly similar to Eurarya; the mitochondria in all present day eukaryotes have the same DNA (same descent, no evidence of convergent evolution), suggesting that the evolution of the super-group(s) is due to a one-off.

  24. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    13,440
    Quote Originally Posted by tony1967 View Post
    Hi Nereid, thanks for the welcome as far as I can tell encephalization level refers to most advance animals *, there's certainly a few of papers on Octopus family ( just goggle ). Obviously animals which have not evolved a brain don't have this index.
    It's not clear whether there is a trend in the Paleozoic, at least not from the data you've posted so far.

    And I doubt that anyone would have much in the way of data for the Neo-Proterozoic!

    For the evolution of complex, multi-cellular life, on Earth, the four eras are clearly very distinct, which seems to point to the profound importance of the ecological niches available as key factors in the evolution of such life (beyond the geophysical or oceanographic environments).

    Again this was all background reading to human evolutionary psychology, but I did think it important to show that there is academic evidence for increased animal encephalization, and that it might suggest that "intelligence" offers a evolutionary advantage (the rule I was talking about was the natural selection one).
    It may, for selected phyla/classes/orders, within the chordates; it clearly does not for other kinds of complex, multicellular life (e.g. plants, Cnidaria, most Lophotrochozoa).

    If the tape were replayed, what are the chances that something like Chordata would emerge? No one can say!

    If this rule is true for here then I think there is either 100% chance it is right for everywhere or we are such a freak it is close to 0%. However I think if planetary conditions are right life will try to increase in complexity, multicellular, sense organs, larger and larger CPU...
    Well, multicellularity seems to be evolutionarily advantageous, in the history of the Earth's environments and ecosystems ... but only for the Eukarya - Bacteria and Archaea show no such trends - and only for some of the Eukarya groups (not even super-groups); in fact, AFAIK, none of these trends are found in most Eukarya groups (e.g. there are no complex Porifera with sense organs, CPU, etc).

    And in the broad, life on Earth started with the Age of Bacteria* ... and it has never changed!

    * animals with brains, there are as far as I understand some exceptions , recent work on insects as individuals ( they have a "different" type of brain) and group animals, show far higher intelligence than they should. To paraphrase something I read "a larger brain may just mean a larger harddrive not a larger CPU". So insect mushroom bodies may act as a better cpu than some larger "animal" brains.
    What about the intelligence of plants?

    * maybe Archaea have played is minor role too

  25. #55
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    32
    Just right click the jpg

    http://ircamera.as.arizona.edu/NatSc...ges/elevel.jpg

    It's also repeated on a NASA page *

    It's a fairly well used in evolutionary biology / psychology in various forums there's lots of examples in academic papers all over the net and in journals**

    I totally agree with you about needing the right environment and about many older lifeforms not evolving, but my wife described it like this " microbe A has not changed or become more intelligent than it was 3 billion years ago, but it has. It evolved in to micro B, just because A still exists doesn't mean some didn't mutate. It's like I try to open a burger joint, but I'm up against McD's and BurgerKing, the local bank won't give me any money. However I might get a chance if one of the two goes bust ( extinction event ) or if I come up with a better idea for a take away, rather than burgers I'll make tortillas. My bank manager likes this gives me the money. I now might go bust ( evolutionary dead end) or succeed become a new super chain. McD and BurgerKing still exist. Sorry the above is the way it was described to me it's not meant to be insulting
    So micro A has cornered the market, micro B has to take over, or find a new nitch, better intelligence allows you to find more nitches.


    * http://history.nasa.gov/cp-2156/ch4.3.htm
    ** http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1995ASPC...74...72M
    **

  26. #56
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    13,440
    Quote Originally Posted by tony1967 View Post
    Just right click the jpg

    http://ircamera.as.arizona.edu/NatSc...ges/elevel.jpg

    It's also repeated on a NASA page *

    It's a fairly well used in evolutionary biology / psychology in various forums there's lots of examples in academic papers all over the net and in journals**

    I totally agree with you about needing the right environment and about many older lifeforms not evolving, but my wife described it like this " microbe A has not changed or become more intelligent than it was 3 billion years ago, but it has. It evolved in to micro B, just because A still exists doesn't mean some didn't mutate. It's like I try to open a burger joint, but I'm up against McD's and BurgerKing, the local bank won't give me any money. However I might get a chance if one of the two goes bust ( extinction event ) or if I come up with a better idea for a take away, rather than burgers I'll make tortillas. My bank manager likes this gives me the money. I now might go bust ( evolutionary dead end) or succeed become a new super chain. McD and BurgerKing still exist. Sorry the above is the way it was described to me it's not meant to be insulting
    So micro A has cornered the market, micro B has to take over, or find a new nitch, better intelligence allows you to find more nitches.


    * http://history.nasa.gov/cp-2156/ch4.3.htm
    ** http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1995ASPC...74...72M
    **
    Thanks for this.

    I think you mean niche (not nitch).

    I think you also probably need to be a little more careful with the analogies; evolution is blind (species do not search for niches, for example). It is very common to write about evolution using anthropomorphic metaphors, even among the pros; however, the pros rarely (not never!) take the analogy too far, but taking it too far is extremely common in the general public's discussions (not saying you're doing this, but it seems you're getting very close).

    More later.

  27. #57
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    32
    Sorry links copied from papers rather than web and links don't work, these should!
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1995ASPC...74...73M
    http://history.nasa.gov/CP-2156/ch4.3.htm

    I should say all the above is paraphrasing my wife ( she works in psychology and was doing some work on evolutionary psychology earlier in the year ), so might not be exactly how she explained it, but it is the basic idea.
    Yes niche damn auto spell checker on Debian Iceweasel or maybe my plain stupidity!

  28. #58
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    13,440
    Quote Originally Posted by tony1967 View Post
    Sorry links copied from papers rather than web and links don't work, these should!
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1995ASPC...74...73M
    http://history.nasa.gov/CP-2156/ch4.3.htm
    Thanks!

    I should say all the above is paraphrasing my wife ( she works in psychology and was doing some work on evolutionary psychology earlier in the year ), so might not be exactly how she explained it, but it is the basic idea.
    I know nothing about evolutionary psychology (so I can't comment further), but in evolutionary biology a species can evolve to be better suited to a new environment if the necessary adaptations do not involve 'crossing a chasm': imagine fitness, in some abstract sense, as being correlated with height, then the 'adaptive landscape' will be like terrain - valleys, mountains, peaks, ridges, etc. Evolution will drive species to the peaks; however, a nearby peak may be out of reach, even though it is much higher ... species have no way to descending from heights, crossing valleys, and then climbing neighbouring peaks*.

    Adaptively desirable greater (relative) encephalization seems to be accessible to some complex, multi-cellular animal species, but it is not accessible to most.

    Just as multi-cellularity was accessible to some (many) species of now-long-extinct eukaryotes, but seems to have never been to all bacteria and archaea.

    Yes niche damn auto spell checker on Debian Iceweasel or maybe my plain stupidity!
    Yeah, you'd think they'd be smart enough by now to read your mind and know what you intended to type!

    * note that the adaptive landscape is dynamic, and quite different for different species (or, perhaps, families or orders); for example, the arrival of a new species in the environment may result in a new valley being created, for all sorts of reasons

  29. #59
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,273
    Bosco D. Gamma

    ........for example intelligence could be defined by the ability to leave your planet and travel into deep space
    To successfully communicate I believe one has to go with the normal definition(s) of words such as "intelligence" and "life." Beyond that there may be life-like entities and intelligences out there somewhere that may not fall under our normal definitions but may have similarities to either life, intelligence, or both.
    Last edited by forrest noble; 2010-Jul-21 at 11:47 PM.

  30. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    13,440
    Quote Originally Posted by tony1967 View Post
    Sorry links copied from papers rather than web and links don't work, these should!
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1995ASPC...74...73M
    http://history.nasa.gov/CP-2156/ch4.3.htm

    [...]
    One sentence, in the first link (a paper - ? - from 1995) seems rather too extreme: "Nevertheless, we can safely conclude that, for whatever reasons, there has been a consistent trend among organisms on this planet towards bigger, fancier, and faster brains."

    I am still looking, but Marino (the author) does not seem the least bit concerned that his definition of "organisms on this planet" can refer to only a tiny minority of species, and excludes most phyla/classes/etc.

    There's also this: "[...] the trend towards increased relative brain size and higher intelligence has never been reversed within any major group on this planet." Yet the evidence presented seems utterly underwhelming; for example, the number of "major groups" reported (as having been studied) seems - to me - to be a trivial minority of all "major groups", even of those with clearly defined brains. Has this trend been shown in the Platyhelminthes, for example? Are there not a great many examples, in this phylum, of a highly successful adaptive strategy (i.e. parasitism)? And hasn't parasitism, in general, been shown to involve exactly the opposite trend (stated in the Marino quote)?

    Then there's this (bold added): "The bottom line, therefore, is that increasing information processing complexity may be the primary way to escape the restrictions of the physical environment and yet continue to change, sometimes dramatically, in response to shifting selective pressures throughout time." I don't know of any evidence, from any of a large number of Eukarya phyla (other than a few animals) to support this breathtakingly broad statement.

    The second source is much older; I couldn't find a date, but none of the references is later than 1979. Given the radical changes in the understanding of the diversity of life since then*, especially its genetic basis, I'm not sure this material is of much more than historical interest.

    * for example, the Archaea - one of the three Domains of life - weren't identified until 1977 (and remained controversial for some time afterwards)

Similar Threads

  1. Intelligent, Condescending Life Discovered In Distant Galaxy
    By AKONI in forum Small Media at Large
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 2012-Feb-13, 07:51 PM
  2. Is the Galactic Centre of our Galaxy teaming with intelligent life
    By damo747 in forum Space/Astronomy Questions and Answers
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 2010-Apr-22, 02:41 AM
  3. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 2009-Mar-30, 11:59 PM
  4. How much intelligent life?
    By Phobos in forum Space/Astronomy Questions and Answers
    Replies: 145
    Last Post: 2007-Jul-27, 06:34 PM
  5. Where Does Intelligent Life Come From?
    By Fraser in forum Universe Today
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2005-Sep-07, 04:11 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •